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Volume 26, Number 4 — April 2019

Tribute to Women: Arts-Related Honorees

Clockwise from top left: Sarah Davis, Jerry Goodpasture, Margaret Helvey, Mary Anne Sowers, and Bertina Dew.
Clockwise from top left: Sarah Davis, Jerry Goodpasture, Margaret Helvey, Mary Anne Sowers, and Bertina Dew.

April 24, 2012

Several women were recognized during the YWCA's annual Tribute to Women on April 19, 2012. Arts-related award recipients included the following:


Mary Anne Sowers — Johnson City
A leader and pioneer in the arts and arts education, Mary Anne Sowers was the first certified elementary school teacher in the State of Tennessee to acquire the Tennessee State Dance Certification Endorsement by the Tennessee State Education Department of Teacher's Licensure. She is a forerunner in the field of arts integration, as she teaches creative movement, dance, and arts integration to over 550 elementary public school children, weekly, at Mountain View Elementary School in the Johnson City School system. A former dancer herself, she previously was artistic director of the Bristol Ballet Company and director of the Hardinge Ballet Center. She has served on the board of directors for Regional Dance America and the Southeastern Association of Ballet. She also is a founding member of the "A! Magazine for the Arts" editorial committee.


Bertina S. Dew — Kingsport
Bertina S. Dew's greatest strengths have been said to be "that of a visionary with a servant leadership style." Bertina holds a Masters degree in Art Therapy which gives her a deep sense for the need for art in the lives of individuals. In 1998, she took leadership of Kingsport Ballet in an effort to preserve an organization which offered a unique product to the community. Under her leadership Kingsport Ballet's annual budget has more than quadrupled. She was active in Rotary and (through Rotary) Habitat for Humanity, while at the same time she was active in school activities with her three daughters. Bertina has served as the volunteer Executive Director of the Kingsport Ballet for the past 13 years, all 13 years without pay. Her leadership philosophy implies a comprehensive view of the quality of people and a community spirit.


Ruth Jerauld (Jerry) Hill Goodpasture — Bristol
Since 1977, Jerry Goodpasture's "primary initiative has been to cultivate and enhance the arts community and provide a higher quality of life for all of Bristol." She has supported the arts by working with a multitude of organizations, including Arts Alliance Mountain Empire, Art in Public Places, Bristol Art Guild, Bristol Ballet, Believe in Bristol's Arts and Entertainment District, and the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance Capital Campaign Committee. She also helped create a mission for the Arts and Entertainment District Steering Committee: "to promote and advocate the District in order to boost Bristol's creative economy and cultural tourism, and collaborate to develop, encourage and enhance ideas that cultivate Bristol's creativity."

Sarah K. Davis — Johnson City
Sarah Davis, executive director of the Johnson City Area Arts Council (JCAAC), takes pride when she sees that "something is happening in children's internal landscape that is adding texture and color." She began the Arts Corps program in 2005, which offers a variety of after-school classes in dance, visual arts, poetry, music and theater to underprivileged children in Johnson City and Washington County, Tenn. Since its inception, the program now serves more than 600 youth each year. The JCAAC now manages 28 programs, up from three when Davis began providing leadership. In addition, the JCAAC is in charge of Tennessee Arts Commission funding allocations for five counties in Northeast Tennessee.

Margaret D. Helvey — Kingsport
A member of the Kingsport Art Guild for more than 16 years, Margaret Helvey is "dependable and faithful to whatever commitment she has made." As Gallery Chairman since 1998, she has dramatically increased the culture of art in the Kingsport community by filling the Renaissance Center each month with exhibits from different artists. She is responsible for every detail required, including reviewing the art, all paperwork, rules for the display, assisting in the placement and hanging of the chosen works, and promotion and marketing for the upcoming year. Additionally, she has chaired the Member Shows and Fun Fest exhibits, plus selected judges, ribbons and sponsors for the shows.